Monday, June 10, 2013

Temple Stadium upgrades

A very minor adjustment adds just 2,000 or so seats to Temple Stadium.
The big news this week for Temple football was that Temple Stadium was getting an upgrade.
OK, technically they call it Lincoln Financial Field but, if I had an extra $200 million or so laying around, instead of investing it in an on-campus stadium, I'd purchase the naming rights from the Lincoln Financial Group (they only paid $139.6 million for it for 20 years) and rename the place Temple Stadium.
If, by some miracle, Temple could attract just 1/3d
of its 130K living alumni and on-campus students to
home football games,
the AAC might put the Temple '][' in its logo.

Photo by John Van Wert
Not Temple Football Forever Stadium, not the Owls Nest, not even The Apollo of Temple, just Temple Stadium.
Could you imagine Brent Musburger or Al Michaels doing a Monday Night Football game there with this opening:
"YOU ARE LOOKING LIVE AT TEMPLE STADIUM, WHERE THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES ARE HOSTING THE NEW YORK GIANTS."
The school could spend $100 million in advertising and not get quite the bang for the buck as a few of those openings would deliver.
I've soured on the idea of an on-campus stadium after attending the Temple basketball game against UNC Charlotte.
I turned to three friends from my high school days and asked: "Where is everybody? This place is empty."
The university has a nationally known basketball program but not a nationally known following.
Those who demand an on-campus stadium say that attendance would go up if the uni built one, say, at 15th and Norris between 16th on the West and Montgomery Avenue on the South.
I did not get that feeling in a half-empty state-of-art Liacouras Center back in February nor do I feel the fans who attended the home games against Canisius, St. Bonaventure or Duquesne got that feeling as well.
To me, the best upgrade for "Temple Stadium" would be fans putting down their remotes and getting off their couches and going to home games. TV ratings for Temple home games in the nation's fourth-largest market are off the charts high, so you know there are enough Temple fans interested in watching. The challenge is getting them into cars and onto the subway.
It's not like the place is in the middle of nowhere, ala UConn.
It's a 10-minute subway ride for 12,500 students living on campus and a one-hour ride for 130,000 living alumni.
Winning will bring the fans, for sure.
Got to hope that winning, combined with an exciting brand of football the Owls will be playing for the next few years, will bring enough "Temple people" so that the nation is impressed.
The fans will get a chance to vote with their two feet.
THEN maybe we can talk about an on-campus stadium.
Not before.


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11 comments:

tu2acc said...

Uh-oh, the on-campus stadium debate is now on TFF. Two reasons I like the idea of an on-campus stadium for Temple: 1, atmosphere and size. I'd like to see 30,000 in our own 40,000 seat stadium than feeling empty in a 70,000 seat stadium. Plus LFF feels rented. 2, I see an on-campus stadium as a needed amenity if we ever want to step up, for example the ACC. It's a requirement for big-boy football, IMO.

Temple Football Forever said...

People made the same argument about the LC and it's been pretty consistently half full over the past five years except for Big 5 games and maybe an occasional Xavier or VCU.
What happens if Temple builds a $300 mil stadium (you won't get it for less in this union town) and gets 15 K in a 40K stadium?
Does it look any better than 235K in a 70K stadium?
No.
I think TU fans have to prove to me (and, more importantly, the Board of Trustees) that they can put 35-40K in LFF before Temple can even think of a campus stadium.
I think the BOT has tougher standards on this than I do.

Temple Football Forever said...

That should be 23K in a 70K stadium.
You know there are going to be excuses made by Tu fans about campus stadium, too (no place to tailgate, don't want to fight North Philly traffic, no place to park, SEPTA strike, etc.)
I think our apathetic basketball fan base has given the BOT some sobering lessons. Our football fan base has been better, but not by enough to make a real difference.
Show me 38K for Houston and I'll change my mind.
I'm thinking we'll be lucky to get 25K for that game and it's more important in the overall scheme of things than ND.

Kent Duke said...

chicken or the egg?..., AG built momentum..., hiring DAZ was a very bad decision. we did not build on the momentum, took two steps back, and in the process lost three recruiting years. BB did great things for TU, hiring DAZ was not one of them..., built it and they will come is not a proven strategy.., winning begets fame, fortune, and fans. Louisville is a good model for TU to follow. Stability should not have a top criterion..., all great coaches leave, but they also leave a winning team behind. much rather have 3 four season AG's in a row than have a 5 or 7 year .500 coach...,

Temple Football Forever said...

Yeah, that 4-7 was a huge step backwards and not throwing a pass (ok, just two passes) in the first half of a loss to Maryland was malfeasance of the highest degree.
Can't say I didn't have concerns about Addazio.
This is what I wrote about him on the day he was hired.

Kent Duke said...

*build
*have been

great instincts on Daz, you nailed it. makes me wonder what BC is thinking...., you have to spend money wisely to make money..., what if we hired a million dollar per year coach? or, do we continue to roll the dice on cheap unprovens? appears as if our BOD and Trustees are schizophrenic....,
college football is big business and we should be making profit and loss decisions...., winning begets fame, fortune, and fans..., jury is out on Rhule, same as it was with Daz..., better odds if we would have offered someone like the Louisville coach twice their current salary....imagine the immediate buzz (ticket sales, four star recruits, etc)..., I'm a Temple die-hard and my judgement is often jaded, but this isn't rocket science..., BB made a feel good hire with Rhule after being jolted by Daz...., the reality is Rhule got his second and third choices for OC and DC....., red flags everywhere!!!

Temple Football Forever said...

Starting to warm up to the Rhule hire.
BB was caught between a rock and a hard place.
1) BOT doesn't give him "arms' race" money to make the big splash (although I think Temple could have outbid Bowling Green on Dave Clawson).
2) Coaches were using Temple. As much as I love AG, he had one eye on that open door all along.
Rhule swears fidelity up and down to Temple, so I will have to take him at his word and I think that's what BB was thinking in this hire.
The red flags are (but not limited to):
1) Would ANY other school, say EVEN South Florida, have hired Matt Rhule as a head coach?
No.
2) Rhule had a chance to hire a GREAT defensive coordinator with impeccable credentials (Nick Rapone) but instead hired a mentor from 20 years ago who has not done anything significant since.
Why does this guy, the new DC, not Rhule, remind me of the Dennis Hopper character in Hoosiers?
He's going to have to pitch a shutout against Memphis and Fordham to win me over.
Oh wait.
He hasn't been a DC on a team with a shutout since 1996.
I won't hold my breath.

cjowls said...

I think it's time to pack it in on the argument if we win they will come. Do you remember last year starting off 2-0 in the Big East (two great exciting wins)then playing a game on a beautiful day against a rival in Rutgers and being outnumbered in our own stadium. Only 35k in total attendance. After going to games for years and being a loyal supporter that was the day I realized Temple football will never be a draw in this town. Regardless I'll be there September 7th.

cjowls said...

It's time to end the if we win they will come argument. Do you remember last year? Starting off the Big East 2-0 with great wins and then getting to play Rutgers a rival the next weekend on a beautiful day. We drew 35k and were outnumbered by Rutgers fans in our own stadium. That was the day as a loyal fan I realized Temple football will never be a draw in Philadelphia. Regardless I will be there September 7th.

Temple Football Forever said...

I'm pretty disgusted with the students, specifically.
We had 12.5K students for Villanova 2011 and followed that up with 14K students for Penn State.
Instead of BUILDING on that momentum and going to 14.5 and 16K the next year for big home games against Maryland and Rutgers, our students did a disappearing act.
The students of 2011 were MUCH better than the students of 2012 and I don't know why.
However, I would caution against using the word never.
Temple drew 52K at the Vet for Brigham Young in the 1980s and there were very few BYU fans there.
Temple regularly drew 40K against Pitt when Arians was the coach.
When Paul Palmer was going for the Heisman in 1986, the Owls drew 32K for East Carolina and almost as many for West Virginia.
Never is a very long time.

Da M Nels said...

The new president is crunching the numbers. It would be cheaper to issue some bonds and build a stadium on campus rather than pay the Eagles higher rent. Temple is in a low income area, and the bonds would have some tax credits attached. High NW individuals and hedge funds would invest wisely and North Philly would have a revenue generating operation. It's nice to have a CFO as Temple's new president.